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Dressed to not kill: Garrison Bespoke's bullet-proof business suit


November 6, 2013

The scene at Ontario's Rod and Gun Club, where Garrison Bespoke's new bulletproof three-piece suit was publicly demonstrated this week (Photo: Garrison Bespoke)

The scene at Ontario's Rod and Gun Club, where Garrison Bespoke's new bulletproof three-piece suit was publicly demonstrated this week (Photo: Garrison Bespoke)

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In a scene only dreamt of by most people, the employees of Garrison Bespoke, an upscale Toronto tailor, lined up and waited their turn to stab their boss, Michael Nguyen, with a hunting knife. Mr. Nguyen emerged from the experience unscathed, thanks to a remarkable bullet-proof business suit that has just been revealed to the public.

Although bulletproof clothing has been available to the public for many years, the typical offering took the form of rather heavy casual clothing or outerwear. New advances in bullet-resistant fabric, however, have made it possible to provide solid protection in the guise of fashionable business wear.

Garrison's bulletproof (bullet-resistant is a more accurate description) suit contains several sheets of carbon nanotube fabric in its lining, manufactured by the same (anonymous) company that makes personal armor for the US Army Special Forces.

These sheets are thinner and more flexible than Kevlar, while only having half the weight, and are so resistant to damage they have to be cut using a bandsaw. The resistance of the suit to stabbing is due to the tendency of the carbon nanotubes to tighten their weave in response to a point force, effectively blunting the tip of the knife, and preventing it from penetrating the fabric.

In relatively informal tests, Garrison's bullet-resistant suit proved capable of stopping 9 mm and .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) handgun rounds, in addition to the stabbing attacks by the Garrison employees. Stopping a 9 mm round is considered to be Level IIa protection by the US National Institute of Justice standards, however, Garrison has not responded to our inquiry about formal certification of its suit.

The world of carbon nanotubes, especially when applied to personal armor, is a rather murky one from which it is difficult to gather many details. One major player in this field is Nanocomp, a company that manufactures carbon nanotube sheets and yarn for a variety of purposes.

In a 2010 Forbes article, the Nanocomp's VP of Business Development John Dorr remarked that, "The particular (bullet) stop you mention was accomplished with ... the thickness of several business cards. It was able to stop a 9 mm round in that example." This level of performance seems consistent with Garrison's bullet-resistant suit, although there is no hint as to whether it is Nanocomp's carbon nanotube sheets being used in Garrison's suits.

Starting at 20,000 CAD (US$19,160), these suits probably won't be flying off the shelf, but for those who are rich, powerful, and find themselves involved in risky business, this offering from Garrison Bespoke may be just what the bodyguard ordered.

Source: Garrison Bespoke

About the Author
Brian Dodson From an early age Brian wanted to become a scientist. He did, earning a Ph.D. in physics and embarking on an R&D career which has recently broken the 40th anniversary. What he didn't expect was that along the way he would become a patent agent, a rocket scientist, a gourmet cook, a biotech entrepreneur, an opera tenor and a science writer. All articles by Brian Dodson

Wouldn't the force trauma from a slug not cause significant harm, if not death?


Time until first related Darwin-award: 5 ...4 ...3 ...2 ....

Mats Svensson

Just when I thought it was about time to order a new suit, I saw the price.


Wow! $20k for something which looks like it was just taken down from the K-Mart Clearance Rack since it didn't sell... Well, oogly or not, it probably is a whole lot less cumbersome than alternative flak jackets. When they're down to $39.99 at Wally, I'll get one, fer sher.


Don't tase me, dude just shoot me.

Jimbo Jones

Hmm surely that is goning to leave one hell of a bruise - interesting to note where all of the force of the bullet goes with such a thin layer of material - it may hold the bullet, but if doesnt absorb the force - that is still going to do internal damage or does this fibre shed the force accross its whole structure? I guess it is still better than a hole


I thought that in business, the concept was to go for the jugular...

I don't see this helping in that respect. :-P


That main picture is very telling- I remember a recent Russian Mafia informant was shot leaving a courtroom and was killed.

He was wearing a "bulletproof vest"... but it was a head shot.

Anyone going after somebody with one of these would probably have the intel on the jacket- I doubt that they would have more than one and I can't see them wearing the same jacket all the time.

It would then be obvious if they were wearing it unless they had a broad variety of them.

It's a fun sort of thing but I cannot take it seriously.

It will probably get him a lot of attention for his business,though.

I cannot imagine it being very comfortable.

Watch your wallet as wearing bullet proof clothing in the US may be illegal. After the notorious armed robbery in California in which police had to pitch a prolonged battle with the criminals due to their bullet proof garb laws were passed allowing only police officers to use bullet proof clothing. That gunfight was so serious that the cops had to run into gun stores and commandeer high powered hunting rifles to take down the killers. Jim Sadler

Ok so it might stop a bullet, but all that energy has to go somewhere... So I'm thinking your still going to get some major shock trauma and broken ribs etc... Almost makes a "flesh wound" appealing..


@ Pelotoner The recoil into the shooter hand or shoulder has more energy than the bullet when it hits. Bullet resistant fabric spreads the force over enough area as to avoid serious injury if it succeeds is stopping penetration.


Peak lapels on a single breasted jacket? The wearer deserves to be shot anyway.


The alternative is almost unthinkable...piss off less people while doing business...nevermind. This make for a better cinematic plot enhancer anyway.


If you have to ask the price for dozens or more,you can't afford it. Surely those huge royal or top dogs in the Middle East will be placing tons of orders pronto.


"Dressed to kill", takes on a new meaning and wearing this suit won't prevent death from sticker shock. Fitting that the garment is featured in pin-stripe; favored by mobsters and power brokers alike.

Jeremy Kurtti

@Jim Sadler

US Law enforcement has had to deal with bulletproof vests since 1897 since Casimir Zeglen first used silk weave 1/8 inch thick inventing the garment, they were used extensively by the mob during prohibition, US law enforcement being behind the times and a non adopter until 1931.


How much for just pants ?

Dave B13
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